KACST scientist wins US physics award

Updated 20 August 2014

KACST scientist wins US physics award

Dr. Ibtesam Saeed Badhrees, a leading woman research scientist in experimental particle physics at the National Center for Nanotechnology, King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST) Riyadh, has been selected as the first non-American woman for ‘Women Physicist of the Month’ award for August 2014 given by the American Physical Society (APS).
“APS, the world’s second largest organization for physicists with a non-profit membership, has chosen Dr. Badhrees as the first non-American woman-physicist to be granted the ‘Woman Physicist of the Month’ for August 2014 for her enriching role and positive impact on the physics community,” an official at KACST media department said on Tuesday.
APS has also nominated Dr. Badhrees to be a referee for scientific posters at APS international conference in April, the official said.
Moreover, she has received an invitation from the Committee on the Status of Women in Physics (CSWP), founded in 1972 to address the encouragement and career development of women physicists, to take part in its program entitled, “Development of professional skills of woman-physicists” which it will organize at Savannah, the oldest city in the US state of Georgia.
Confirming the distinguished honor, APS in a statement on its website said, “Ibtesam Saeed Badhrees, a leading research scientist in experimental particle physics, is not only a distinguished fellow of New Westminster College, but also the first Saudi woman with a PhD
to work in the National Center for Mathematics and Physics at KACST.”
“Her role with CERN, the world’s leading laboratory for particle physics, as the first and only Saudi woman to join the organization as a user researcher in 2006 is notable, apart from her service as a CERN courier in 2006 as in this role, she was published in several magazines and journals and participated in several interviews nationally and internationally.”
CERN, the European organization for nuclear research, is headquartered in Geneva.
Dr. Badhrees has received many awards throughout her career and gained much recognition including the Saudi Arabian cultural mission academic excellence award in 1996, 1997 and 2007.
APS further maintained that Dr. Badhrees, has on many occasions, provided services to the physics community through the organization of workshops and presentation of talks in different countries to trigger the enthusiasm and passion of the younger generation of scientists in natural science especially in the field of high energy physics.
APS is the leading voice for physics and an authoritative source of physics information for the advancement of physics and the benefit of humanity, as it also provides effective programs in support of the physics community and the conduct of physics besides its collaboration with national scientific societies for the advancement of science, scientific education and the science community.


NASA finds Indian moon lander with help of amateur space enthusiast

Updated 03 December 2019

NASA finds Indian moon lander with help of amateur space enthusiast

  • NASA released an image taken by its Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter that showed the site of the spacecraft’s impact
  • A version of the picture was marked up to show the associated debris field

WASHINGTON: India’s Vikram lunar lander, which crashed on its final approach to the Moon’s surface in September, has been found thanks in part to the sleuthing efforts of an amateur space enthusiast.
NASA made the announcement on Monday, releasing an image taken by its Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) that showed the site of the spacecraft’s impact (September 7 in India and September 6 in the US).
A version of the picture was marked up to show the associated debris field, with parts scattered over almost two dozen locations spanning several kilometers.
In a statement, NASA said it released a mosaic image of the site on September 26 (but taken on September 17), inviting the public to compare it with images of the same area before the crash to find signs of the lander.
The first person to come up with a positive identification was Shanmuga “Shan” Subramanian, a 33-year-old IT professional from Chennai, who said that NASA’s inability to find the lander on its own had sparked his interest.
“I had side-by-side comparison of those two images on two of my laptops ... on one side there was the old image, and another side there was the new image released by NASA,” he said, adding he was helped by fellow Twitter and Reddit users.
“It was quite hard, but (I) spent some effort,” said the self-professed space nerd, finally announcing his discovery on Twitter on October 3.
NASA then performed additional searches in the area and officially announced the finding almost two months later.
“NASA has to be 100% sure before they can go public, and that’s the reason they waited to confirm it, and even I would have done the same,” said Subramanian.
Blasting off in July, emerging Asian giant India had hoped with its Chandrayaan-2 (“Moon Vehicle 2“) mission to become just the fourth country after the United States, Russia and regional rival China to make a successful Moon landing, and the first on the lunar south pole.
The main spacecraft, which remains in orbit around the Moon, dropped the unmanned lander Vikram for a descent that would take five days, but the probe went silent just 2.1 kilometers above the surface.
Days after the failed landing, the Indian Space Research Organization said it had located the lander, but hadn’t been able to establish communication.